The City of Encinitas reportedly spends about $50,000 per year on graffiti removal.
  • The City of Encinitas reportedly spends about $50,000 per year on graffiti removal.
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Early in the morning on April 17, gang members reputedly from the Eden Gardens area of Solana Beach, using black spray-paint, tagged several walls in their rival gang's territory of Encinitas. By the time the three schools in the immediate area opened, the Encinitas gang had spray-painted over the rival gang's graffiti with their own gang signs, in blue paint.

Parents driving their kids to the nearby schools couldn't help but notice the competing graffiti on the Encinitas Community & Senior Center monument sign at the entrance to Oak Crest Middle School; on a stucco wall at the corner of Melba Road and Balour Drive, up from Ocean Knoll Elementary; or on a home's retaining wall on Santa Fe Drive at Aloha Drive, one block from San Dieguito High School Academy.

By Tuesday afternoon, the City of Encinitas had contracted with a graffiti-removal crew to paint over the vandalism. One of the painters said his crew will paint over from ten to twenty graffiti sites a day. The city reportedly spends about $50,000 per year on removal.

On, April 19, tags thought to be made by Encinitas gang members were repeated on the same southeast corner of Melba and Balour. Additionally, they tagged a new fence on Balour Drive (in the upscale housing Seaside Highlands development), several curbside power boxes, and the large green exit sign hanging from the Leucadia Boulevard bridge over the northbound lanes of I-5.

Repeated calls to the gang detectives at the Encinitas sheriff's station were not returned. A police officer from a neighboring city said it is generally the “pee-wees” doing the tagging in a rival gang's territory.

In August 2011, four suspected Encinitas gang members reportedly painted graffiti on a Solana Beach restaurant and fired a shot at a passing car on Coast Hwy. 101. The suspects were arrested.

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